One step ahead of the game

Securing summer work can be good experience for students

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Story by Colette St John, Staff Writer

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As spring takes precedence, students are beginning to secure summer work.  From coffee shops to corporate offices, there are many options for college students. One of these is the internship.

Rick Behlmer, junior biology major, supports internships during the summer months.

“I think internships are an essential part of deciding what career path best suits someone because their strengths and weaknesses are put to the test,” he said.

Behlmer will work for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in the Summer Lab Science Program. He will assist physicians in the Endocrinology Laboratory by preparing samples and running tests.

While working towards becoming an ophthalmologist — eye specialist — he expresses his thoughts on internships as a whole.

“Without work experience in your field of interest, it leaves the door open for learning things about your field you didn’t previously consider,” Behlmer said. “I realized an opportunity like this was too exciting to not apply.”

There are many on-campus services available for students interested in obtaining an internship. Career Services, located in Schofield Hall 230, can help boost your resume, set up mock interviews and help discover internships.

Staci Heidtke, a Career and Employment adviser, said she highly recommends internships.

“Internships are an excellent way to determine if a career goal is a good fit for the student, and to have a competitive edge in the job search,” she said. “It is a practical opportunity for students to test a profession and to build relevant experience on a resume.”

While assisting students with career decisions, Career Services also teaches lifelong skills that aid in graduation and career planning.

“I suggest students schedule a meeting with Career Services to get individualized assistance with finding an internship and preparing application materials and for an employment interview,” said Heidtke.

Other ideas, such as the use of Blugold CareerLink and the job board were suggested as well, both databases for employment opportunities located around the Eau Claire area.

Another student with internship plans for the summer, Lauren Bollaert, is a sophomore sociology major and anthropology minor. She too finds great value in what they offer, whether as a paid or unpaid position.

“I think internships are a great taste of life after graduating college as well as the field a person plans to go into for employment,” she said.

With hopeful plans to solve social problems witnessed in today’s society, Bollaert felt an internship was the right step in her educational and career planning.

“My adviser also helped me in deciding that it would be a great experience leading into my future plans after college,” she said.

She plans to collaborate with sociology professor Jianjun Ji to create a written analysis after studying the elderly Chinese population witnessed in Eau Claire throughout the summer. Bollaert hopes this will help further her understanding and development in her area of studies.

“Internships are a possibility to students not only for experience but also to learn more about themselves and what they may or may not like,” she said. “The experience could be surprising.”

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